I was invited by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce CEO Cynthia Pollard to be part of a panel discussion on immigration reform in the United States. This event, held over an early-morning breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel, brought together four panelists to discuss issues in Immigration Reform.
The panel was moderated by Cynthia, and included myself, representing education, Lynne Ashbeck from the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, Dick Castner from the US Chamber of Commerce, and Rocio Saenz from the Service Employees International Union.
I was pleased to see many friendly faces in the crowd, including Bakersfield mayor Harvey Hall, and two members of the Bakersfield College Foundation board of directors: Ken Byrum and Rick Kreiser.
Thank you Bakersfield Chamber for bring these great educational opportunities to us.
I will summarize my remarks soon in a blog post but for now will leave you with some data snippets
1. Immigrants, broadly speaking, can be clustered into three categories: Naturalized Immigrants; Documented Non-citizen immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. The 2009-2011 Data Profile for California shows that our of the 37.6 Million total population, 73% (27.2M) are US-Born and 27% (10.3 M) are Immigrants. Out of the Immigrant population 12% (4.7M) are naturalized; 8% (3.0M) documented but non-citizen; 7% (2.7 M) are undocumented.
2. The May 2013 Pastor and Marcelli study shows that the citizen immigrant fairs better that the US-born using the economic indicators of 150% above the poverty level (80% compared to 77%) or home ownership (64% compared to 59%). See graph below.